Happy March to you from Inspiration from a Blind brought to you monthly by www.ShirleyCheng.com!
"Homosexuals are automatically forever condemned by God," is what some believe. Is this so? If you are a homosexual, is there hope for you to receive salvation and establish friendship with God?
First, let us address the question: Is homosexuality even wrong? If you ask one hundred people, you would get some "Yeses," some "Nos," and some "Maybes." We can never get down to one ultimate answer among ourselves. Therefore, we must turn to the source that lays down the standards that govern us: the Bible, which was written by our very Creator and Life-Giver, Yahweh God Almighty.
It is not for us to say whether homosexuality is wrong. Let us see what God's ultimate Word has to say about this crucial subject.
Homosexuality is forbidden in several Bible passages such as in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, but I would like to just focus on one passage that mentions both male and female homosexuality.
Apostle Paul wrote:
"For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting." (Romans 1:26-28, WEB)
Paul's letters represent God's thoughts, unless otherwise specifically stated by Paul. Therefore, in this passage, God clearly disapproves of homosexuality among both genders. However, as obvious as this passage is, many people still object to this censure, saying that Paul was not really condemning homosexuality. In the "Q&A with Dr. Shirley" section in this issue, I will touch upon the most common objections, with my response following each. But first, I would like to address some concerns you may have regarding homosexuality, especially if you are homosexual yourself or have a loved one who is homosexual.
1) Why is homosexuality a sin?
Homosexuality is a sin simply because Yahweh forbids it.
Who has the authority, knowledge, and capability to determine the proper use or handle of a product, the maker of the product or the user? If you agree that God is the Creator of all, then do you not also agree that He alone has the right, knowledge, and capability to lay down laws to govern our lives? Since Yahweh is the Originator of all things, all things are below Him. The Creator is higher than the creation, never equal or under it. So doesn't God have the capability and authority, and even the responsibility, to set the standard principles for our lives?
Of course, whether we are willing to obey Yahweh's laws is another matter. He does allow us to decide whether to obey or disobey Him. After all, He has given us free will to do so. But our freedom is not without a price; there will be negative consequences for our rebellion.
2) Are homosexuals automatically condemned by God?
You will not automatically be condemned just because you are homosexual. You will be automatically condemned if you knowingly refuse to accept Yahweh's Son, Jesus Christ, for your salvation and without repentance.
The fact is that everyone at birth is automatically condemned. Yes, every newborn infant, whether they be straight or gay, is condemned, because every person is born a sinner, with no exception. So being a homosexual does not put you in a worse situation than the rest of humanity. Conversely, being heterosexual does not give you an advantage above others.
The only way for anyone, gay or straight, to be un-condemned is to believe in Yahweh and in Jesus and obey Yahweh's commandments. So everyone receives equal opportunity for salvation, regardless of their sexual orientation.
3) Are some homosexuals born gay?
The answer seems to be "Yes, some homosexuals are born gay."
The sin nature that every person is born with manifests itself differently in each individual. Some people turn out to be liars, some cheaters, some fornicators, and some even murderers. So it seems that in some, the sin nature manifests itself in God-forbidden sexual desires, such as homosexuality and even bestiality.
Even if someone's sin nature does not manifest itself in homosexuality, that person may still be born gay, due to a medical condition.
4) What should homosexuals do to receive salvation?
Whether you are born gay or "become" gay later in life due to a personal choice, you can receive salvation by accepting Yahweh and Jesus and repenting.
In this case, repenting involves a complete change of lifestyle. This means you will have to stop living a homosexual lifestyle or practicing homosexuality. If it comes down to it, you will have to live a sexually chaste life if you cannot develop any feelings for the opposite gender. How you act will be up to you to change; who you are inside will be up to Yahweh to recreate.
Of course, you will also have to straighten out other sinful areas in your life. For example, if you have been cheating your government on your tax returns, begin filing honest tax forms starting this tax season! We are not to rebel against our government, but to give "everyone what you owe: taxes to whom taxes are due; customs to whom customs; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor." (Romans 13:8)
If you truly desire to have a sacred relationship with Yahweh, if you love Him and want to please Him by obeying His laws, then you will have the strength to repent and live a life that's pleasing to Him, for Yahweh will give you that needed strength and courage!
My friend, if you are homosexual, there is hope for you, as with any other sinner, even for murderers. Don't feel that you are meant to remain condemned. Seek Yahweh, and you will find Him. Answer His call to you:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future. You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you." (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
Will you seek after Yahweh your Creator with all your heart? The choice is entirely up to you!
~*~Q&A with Dr. Shirley~*~
Here are some of the common objections regarding Paul's writing in Romans 1:26-32, as well as the issue of homosexuality in general. You may like to read the entire Romans 1 chapter in the Bible using www.BibleGateway.com to follow the "discussion" below.
Objection: Paul's letter was addressed to people many centuries ago, so his letter with its censure against homosexuality is not relevant to us.
My response: "Envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty," and boastful were all unfitting and unacceptable behavior and actions that Paul spoke about in the same section where he mentioned homosexuality (Romans 1:29-30). Does that mean these behaviors are fitting and acceptable today? What was wrong is wrong today and will be wrong tomorrow. God's morality is universal and timeless.
Objection: Paul was talking about only heterosexuals who became homosexual, not people who started out as homosexuals.
My response: Even if Paul was referring to those who had turned from heterosexuality to homosexuality, it doesn't lessen God's prohibition of homosexuality. Would it be okay for me to start stealing now just because I never stole before? That would be absurd, wouldn't it? Regardless of how a person starts out, one should not turn to a homosexual lifestyle, or anything else that is not permitted, later in life.
God let those people fall into homosexuality as "the due penalty" of their sins, namely their refusal to believe in God in spite of an abundance of evidences of His existence and their worship of the created rather than the Creator. If homosexuality is not wrong, then would God "give up" them to homosexuality? Would He punish people with something He condone? Would we punish people by giving them a roomful of gold?
God would not "give up" them to homosexuality if He approved homosexuality. Paul would not have used the term "gave up" for turning to homosexuality if God condone it. Paul used that term to indicate God's distaste of homosexuality. Homosexuality is clearly indicated as "vile," "inappropriate," and "against nature," diverting from what God has intended nature to be, and among "things which are not fitting." Anything that is "not fitting" morally remains "not fitting," regardless of whether you are ten, thirty, or eighty years old.
Objection: Do not judge or hate others.
My response: If your friend had too much to drink at a party, yet was getting his car keys out of his pocket to drive home, would you prevent him from driving drunk? If you would, then would it mean that you hate your friend? Quite the contrary!
If your friend is considering using drugs, would you not warn them of the negative consequences? If we are true friends indeed, then we would not hesitate to keep them from doing wrong or to rebuke them if they have done wrong. If you fell, would you not want a friend to pick you up? If you wish that a friend will pick you up when you make a mistake with temporary consequences, how much more should we help one another by picking one another up when we make a mistake that could result in eternal consequences (eternal death)!
If a police officer witnesses a crime in town, would he not go after the culprit? Well, if our society takes care to enforce human-made laws, should we not more so take care to enforce God's laws? Are God's laws less important than human laws?
Thus, informing people of what the Bible says and warning others of the consequences for rebelling against God's moral laws are not judging or hating them. On the contrary, this is how we show our love among ourselves. I certainly don't want a "friend" who will not correct me when I do wrong! In fact, woe to us if we don't strengthen the diseased, heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring back the driven, or seek the lost! (Ezekiel 34:4)
Therefore, when we know about something that will do others harm or bring displeasure to Yahweh, it becomes our duty to pass on the message to others to protect them and please our Heavenly Father (Ezekiel 3:18-21). Remember, "if any among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins." (James 5:19-20)
Objection: Many homosexual relationships are based on love. What is wrong for loving the same gender?
My response: Having a homosexual relationship, whether or not it's based on true love, is wrong simply because it is against God's will. If you choose to become a Christian, you will have to decide whether to love yourself more or love Yahweh more. True love always involves sacrifices. So when we truly love God, we will have to sacrifice what we want in order to obey God.
But if you are a Christian and decide to live a homosexual lifestyle, then it shows that you love yourselves and one another more than you love Yahweh. When we love ourselves more than we love our very Life-Giver, for whatever reason, we are selfish. Going against Yahweh's wishes is acting selfishly.
All the problems in our society are caused by selfish love. The Bible says no prostitution, no adultery, no fornication, no divorce (unless for marital unfaithfulness), no murdering, no greed, no cheating, no lying under oath, no false witnesses, no dishonoring parents, no cheating the government, no stealing...yet, we have broken all these commandments because we love ourselves more than we love God.
No child likes to listen to their parents in everything in life, but that child has the responsibility to do so as long as they are under their parents' care, as long as every order of the parents does not harm the welfare of the child. Since God is our ultimate Parent as we are His created, we have the duty to obey our Heavenly Parent in whatever we do, say, and think.
In conclusion, God forbids both male and female homosexuality. Homosexuality may not be wrong in our eyes, but it is in God's eyes. God puts the sin of homosexuality on the same level as incest, adultery, and bestiality, and those who practice such abominations without true repentance afterward will not receive salvation. God's laws are what we need to live by--not our laws. We need to do our best loving what He loves and hating what He hates. It does not mean we are condemning people when we do not approve what they do; we have no right to condemn anyone as we are all sinners, every one of us. But when people refuse to heed God's warning, they are self-condemning themselves.
Remember: "Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God." (I Corinthians 6:9-10)
If you have any concerns or questions not addressed here, please do ask by e-mailing me, and I'd be more than happy to point you to God's truths!
May the grace and peace from Yahweh God and Jesus Christ be with you.!
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Dr. Shirley Cheng
Award-Winning Author with 27 Book Awards
Founder of Ultra-Ability Ministry
Proclaimer of Yahweh God's Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ
Author/Contributor/Editor of 35 books by age 27, Bible Teacher, Poet, Motivational Speaker, Self-Empowerment Expert, Advocate
Board member of World Positive Thinkers Club
"Although I'm blind, I can see far and wide; even though I'm disabled, I can climb high mountains. Let the ropes of hope in Yahweh God haul you high!"
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